Norman Rockwell Dolls. Norman Rockwell is perhaps the most prolific
illustrator of recent times. We have all seen and enjoyed his
wonderful covers on The Saturday Evening Post. The wonderful
characters brought to life in his illustrations are heartwarming.
Starting in 1979 and ending in 1984 a series of fine quality
porcelain dolls was produced representing the most notable of the
Rockwell characters. The twenty dolls made of porcelain and had a
limited production of 20,000 dolls each. Each doll bears the
production number on the nape of its neck and the name, "Mary Moline"
on its back. The dolls sold originally from $130.00 to 250.00 a
piece. Some of the dolls are eight inches tall with most of them
being ten inches tall. Mrs. Moline designed them in a small size so
they would be displayed and not packed away. There were four dolls
released each year for five years.
Mary Moline was a doll collector and had also restored many dolls and
made clothing for them as a hobby. She had also been a writer and
was associate editor of Ford Life Magazine. She was assigned to
write an article on "automobiles in art". Through the research she
discovered that Norman Rockwell used many autos in his art and most
of them were Fords. She contacted Mr. Rockwell and asked his
assistance with the writing project. At first he was surprised, but
then he became intrigued and gave her a lot of assistance. After the
article was written, Mary discovered her interest in his work was
great. She spent over eight years searching bookstores and libraries
and discovered most of his work. The result of this research was a
book titled "The Norman Rockwell Encyclopedia" published by the
Saturday Evening Post Curtis Publishing Company.
The book was published in 1978 which was also the year Mr. Rockwell
Mary in that year was searching for a doll for a gift to her daughter
and she got the idea of a Norman Rockwell character doll. She knew
none existed and she determined to bring them into existence. Mary,
having collected and restored dolls did not have the professional
doll making experience. She immediately faced some reluctance from
Saturday Evening Post officials, but they did trust her knowledge and
respect for Norman Rockwell's work.
Mary commissioned Mimi Weingarten to create a prototype of the first
doll in the series. "Mimi" was modeled from one of Mr. Rockwell's
most loved works, "The Doctor And The Doll" from a 1929 cover of the
Saturday Evening Post. This reproduction persuaded Post officials to
grant to Mary exclusive rights to reproduce all of the Rockwell
characters from Post covers as dolls. Those rights were to last five
These adorable dolls, all twenty, are made of quality porcelain and
their clothing meticulously designed. After the five years of rights
ended, Mary destroyed the molds because she did not want cheap copies
of the dolls to flood the market.
These dolls are a truly unique collectible. Now is the
time to buy these dolls, as the doll market is very depressed.
Prices will most certainly rise again due to the great popularity of
Norman Rockwell's beloved works.